14:24 GMT20 February 2020
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    Ludovic Orban's National Liberal Party-led government came to power in October 2019 after lawmakers passed a motion of no-confidence vote against the centre-left government of Prime Minister Viorica Dancila.

    Romania's liberal-led government collapsed on Wednesday after just four months in office, with 261 of the country's 465 MPs voting in favour of a no confidence motion against Prime Minister Ludovic Orban.

    319 lawmakers took part in the vote. Under the country's legislation, a no-confidence motion requires 233 votes or more to pass. 

    "This government is now dismissed by parliament by a large margin," opposition Social Democrat Party leader Marcel Ciolacu said following the vote, which his party initiated. The Social Democrats' initiative was supported by the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania, an ethnic minority party.

    The vote is expected to expidite the country's legislative elections, previously scheduled for late 2020 or early 2021, to June at the latest.

    Orban's government fell just months after the dismissal of the Social Democrat-led coalition government of Prime Minister Viorica Dancila, which was toppled in a no-confidence vote in October after losing its parliamentary majority in the summer of 2019 and forming a coalition with the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats.

    The collapse of the Orban government is the fourth in as many years. Romania has faced unrest in recent years centred around amendments to the penal code aimed at reducing the force of the country's anti-corruption laws.

    Ahead of the vote, Orban said he was "prepared for any outcome," adding that his party's objective was to win the upcoming elections "so we can assure stable and solid governance with wide parliamentary support."

    According to recent polls, the National Liberal Party's favourability ratings are over 47 percent, while those of the Social Democratic Party stand at only 20 percent.

    Commenting on the vote later Wednesday, the prime minister said defiantly that although his government had fallen, "it has fallen on its feet."

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